NBA rumors: Michael Porter Jr. misses practice, will undergo testing on back injury

More on Michael Porter Injury

Porter, 22, understood the idea of resting but said he wanted to maintain a rhythm heading into the playoffs. Porter’s 45% 3-point shooting clip is, by far, the best on the team. Following Tuesday’s 6-of-10 3-point display, Porter’s got 16 treys in the last three games. “I don’t see a big need to rest right now,” he said, even though he admitted he’s still not fully healthy after two back surgeries delayed the start of his NBA career. Not that he’s currently battling ailments, only that he feels he’ll be healthier the more removed he is from his surgeries.
Harrison Wind: Michael Porter Jr. is active and will start at the four for Denver tonight. Other starters: Murray, Morris, Barton, Jokic
Porter, who spent one season at Missouri, said he’s got a private gym that he can access whenever he wants. “I’ve literally been in the gym just as much as I was in Denver, which has been really good,” Porter said on Altitude’s digital show. “I feel like I haven’t really lost a lot. And it’s been good for my ankle, too, because you know my ankle was still kind of sore.”
Michael Singer: MPJ said his ankle injury in Milwaukee was a "pretty bad sprain, worse than I thought." He said he was playing through pain when he did come back and is using this time to adequately recover.
Harrison Wind: Spoke with Michael Porter Jr. who says his knee injury isn’t anything serious and he could play today. However, Denver is remaining cautious. He’s working out with the team in Las Vegas and says he doesn’t have any restrictions but doesn’t think he’ll play here.
Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. told CBS4 he still hopes to play in the NBA’s Summer League in Las Vegas despite a knee injury he suffered Wednesday in practice. “It really wasn’t that big of a deal,” said Porter Jr. when asked about the injury. “Just landed a little bit funny. Nothing crazy, but I got up with a little bit of a limp. They just decided to give me a few days to rest. But I told them I’m still going to try and get out there at some point during summer league.”
“You feel bad, because the kid has been putting in a lot of work, and he was excited to play,” Nuggets assistant coach Jordi Fernandez said. “But obviously the most important thing for him is to be ready for the NBA season. Again, it’s nothing major.” Before Porter’s latest setback, Fernandez was impressed by his play. “I’ve been fortunate to be around really good players, and what I see from him is special,” Fernandez said. You see things and you don’t want to say, ‘Whoa’ too loud, but, yeah, you see it. He’s pretty special.”
Still, the Nuggets do not plan to rush Porter back into action. “While we are all very excited about the potential impact that he can have, we also don’t want to put too much pressure on him,” said Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly. “He’s really hard on himself because he holds himself to such a high standard. Convincing him that this is going to be a process has been challenging. Which speaks to his competitiveness and love for the game. He wants it so bad.”
Nick Kosmider: Have confirmed @Michael Singer's report that Michael Porter Jr. suffered a knee sprain in last night's scrimmage. Team does not believe it to be anything serious and it is not related to his surgically repaired back, but Nuggets have no desire to risk anything in Las Vegas.
Chris Dempsey: And then there’s this: Porter Jr. said health wise he hasn’t felt this good, “since sophomore year of high school.” Which is crazy to think about b/c he was the National Player of the Year as a senior & McDonald’s All-American game MVP. #Nuggets
Michael Porter Jr. is ready and prepared to take part in Summer League in July, where he will look to showcase his talents and NBA readiness. "Yea I can't wait to get back out there. Nothing will compare to being out there for the first time in a real game. This team has a lot of weapons already, but I think I can be a versatile guy that does a lot of different things on the court and be a shot maker."
“He (Porter Jr.) is special for sure,” Nuggets guard Monte Morris added. “He can handle it, shoot it and he's 6'11". He's a freak athlete. The best thing about Michael is that he feels he's the best player on the court at all times, no matter who is out there. He carries that swagger about himself, so I feel it will be easy for him to adjust when he steps into the rotation because with that swagger, you will go out there and play confident.”

http://twitter.com/GrantLiffmann/status/1113233289139986432
Harrison Wind: Michael Malone today on Isaiah Thomas and Michael Porter Jr who are both without timelines to return. On Thomas: “...I don't think any of us envisioned it going (this far into the season)...” Porter has gone through non-contact parts of practice. “The guy has a pure jump shot." pic.twitter.com/Ws3ywQZBBk
There’s still a chance Denver lottery pick Michael Porter Jr. will play his first game late in the season, sources indicated. The Knicks passed on Porter at No. 9 because, sources said, they were told he wouldn’t play this season. Kevin Knox, meanwhile, is in the running for Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for December after averaging 17 points and 16 rebounds. Word is Porter Jr. is looking solid during private workouts.
Those who have seen Michael Porter Jr. work out in Denver as he recovers from back surgery report he's looking impressive. Even the team is surprised how well he has been shooting the 3-pointer as he works with coach Mark Price.
Harrison Wind: Gary Harris (left hamstring strain) is questionable for tomorrow’s preseason opener vs Lakers. Isaiah Thomas (right hip surgery), Michael Porter Jr (low back surgery), Jarred Vanderbilt (right foot surgery) are all out.
Denver Nuggets rookie Michael Porter Jr. said he's pain-free after a second surgery on his back, and the 14th overall pick in the 2018 draft is hoping to be on the court near the start of the 2018-19 season. Porter told ESPN on Sunday at the NBA's annual rookie photo shoot that, "I finally feel, like, good," and he is hoping to be ready for game action around the time the season tips in mid-October.
"I don't have a date but I'm hoping to be back for the beginning of the year. Gotta heal up, but I feel great," said Porter. "I'm able to get on the court a little bit right now, do something different things. But my rehab has definitely been very conservative. They're really taking it easy with me, being patient with me."
Porter elected to have the second surgery last month with hopes of alleviating all issues with his back before the start of his rookie season. "[Doctors originally] only thought one of [the bulging disks] was symptomatic," said Porter. "They went in and fixed that one. Turns out that both were symptomatic. So my first surgery helped a lot but didn't fix the entire problem. Now that they did this one, I've got no pain or anything. I'm excited."
Former Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr. has undergone his second back surgery in eight months, according to the Denver Nuggets, the team that drafted him No. 14 overall in June’s NBA Draft. But his father told The Star on Thursday that there was still a chance the 6-foot-10 scorer could be ready by the start of the NBA season.
“Mike’s feeling great,” MU assistant coach Michael Porter Sr. told The Star on Thursday. “The doctors got more insight into what was going on. Just cleaned up a bit of a herniation that was pressing on a nerve. ... The initial prognosis, it sounded like he could be ready at the start of the season. It’s a good deal all the way around.”
Lumbar spine surgery involves the lower back and is usually done to relieve nerve root pinching. Porter’s previous surgery involved the L3 and L4 vertebrates, and was to relive pressure on the spinal nerve column.
Shams Charania: Denver Nuggets rookie Michael Porter Jr. underwent surgery of the lumbar spine. No timetable for his return to basketball participation.
Harrison Wind: Michael Porter Jr. has undergone surgery of the lumbar spine at The Carrell Clinic in Dallas, TX. The Procedure was performed by Dr. Andrew Dossett. There is no timetable for his return to basketball participation, Nuggets say.
Nick Kosmider: Tim Connelly, being interviewed on ESPNU, on the Michael Porter Jr. timetable: "The only thing we're certain of at this point is that we won't get him out there until he's 100 percent."
Since then, the organization has been in lockstep with one another on that message. "We understood the risk-reward situation with Michael Porter, and we felt at 14 he was far too great of a talent to pass up," Nuggets coach Michael Malone said during an in-game interview on NBATV during Denver's Summer League win over the Celtics Saturday night. "And we're going to to be patient. We’re not going to rush him back and that’s the luxury we have. "We have a very good team coming back, we have a very deep team so there’s no reason for us to say ‘Michael's got to play this year.’ We're going to give him all the time and treatment he needs to get better and hopefully he can get back and help us this year.”
Gina Mizell: MPJ, still shooting in socks at #Nuggets summer league practice. Once again, he won’t play in Vegas but has been here throughout the week.

http://twitter.com/ginamizell/status/1014199107903094784
Harrison Wind: As expected, draft picks Michael Porter Jr and Jarred Vanderbilt will not play at Summer League for the Nuggets. Here’s the team’s full roster including 2017 draft-and-stash Vlatko Cancar, who’s playing for Slovenia in 2019 World Cup qualifiers right now.

https://twitter.com/HarrisonWind/status/1012798777982255105
Will he play next season? If so, when? Will he ever truly be healthy? Nuggets president Josh Kroenke told The Undefeated he was uncertain about whether Porter Jr. would play in summer league or during the 2018-19 season. Before his post-draft news conference, Porter Jr. walked around with a slight limp as he took a congratulatory phone call from Kroenke and head coach Michael Malone. Kroenke, an ex-Missouri guard, was ecstatic to land Porter Jr. “Michael is an incredible talent and we were surprised to see him available at No. 14,” Kroenke told The Undefeated via text message. “We know the risks associated with him due to his recent back injury at Missouri, but he’s an incredibly hard worker, is an outstanding young man and we think he will fit in well with our up-and-coming group in Denver.”
Harrison Wind: Michael Porter Jr says teams at the top of the draft were telling him he was “their guy” until his hip flared up last week. Then, he started hearing he was going to drop. “Once one team gets scared, they all get scared,” he said.
Duvalier Johnson: Micheal Porter Jr. said he truly feels as if he will play to start the season. But said the decision is on the team. Will meet with the team tomorrow.
Jeff Goodman: Some teams have been told by their medical personnel to stay away from Michael Porter Jr., but there are numerous teams in the lottery who have been informed by their doctors that there isn’t nearly as much of a risk in selecting him. Varying degree of concern from doctors.
Rick Bonnell: It will be fascinating if Michael Porter is there when the @Charlotte Hornets pick at No. 11. I asked Kupchak Tuesday if he had all the medical info to make a call if Porter is there. Kupchak said he does. What would that decision be?
Adam Himmelsbach: Michael Porter Jr. on injury concerns surrounding him: "I think a few teams are probably still concerned, and I understand that. But they all have my medical records, my MRIs, and I feel like for the most part, most of them feel comfortable."
Porter was able to work out for teams on Friday after a hip injury scare, but the workout did not completely allay fears about Porter’s injury history. He had back surgery in November, and there is ample concern, according to front office sources, that Porter will be an injury question mark throughout his NBA career, at least in his early years.
Sam Amick: The Kings aren’t the only top five team wrestling with the Michael Porter Jr. question: I’m told the Grizzlies are still seriously considering him at No. 4 - health concerns and all - after today’s medical display for lottery teams. Like Sacto, trading down is a possibility too.
Eddie Sefko: Mavericks are sending a crew to Chicago for Michael Porter Jr.'s second workout. Medical staffs from teams in the lottery are converging for the look-see this afternoon. With Porter's back, trusting the docs and athletic trainers is critical. He's a wild card.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Access for NBA lottery teams and doctors to evaluate Michael Porter's surgically repaired back is "trending" toward happening in Chicago on Friday, his agent Mark Bartelstein told teams in an email a short time ago. Teams are preparing to travel, and will get final word tonight.
Shams Charania: Teams have been informed that Michael Porter Jr. is feeling better and MRI returned clean, with "positive review," league sources told Yahoo. Workout assessment could be rescheduled on Friday, sources said, but decision likely comes later today. twitter.com/ShamsCharania/…
Porter is expected to be re-evaluated by his doctor again Thursday night, league sources said. Porter’s training has been ramped up over the past three weeks, causing the spasms in his hip. He appeared returned to his normal status on Thursday.
A quick note on Michael Porter Jr. In the KMOX interview, Porter Sr. said his oldest son has not yet released his medical information to NBA teams but underwent a physical by the Chicago Bulls medical team last Thursday. He’ll host a pro day this Friday in Chicago that’s open to any team that’s interested in watching him work out. The following week the teams drafting in the top 10 will have another day to see him up close and inspect his surgically repaired back. The Porters will share the Bulls’ medical report with every other NBA team, Porter Sr. said. The Bulls have the seventh overall pick.
Mike McGraw: Porter Jr.: "They had me the No. 1 player in high school, but I didn't even feel like I was 100 percent, and I do now. So I'm just excited to show everybody the player I am and that I'm still the best player."
The camp who felt Porter helped himself brought up an interesting perspective. One veteran executive pointed out that the grit to play hurt means more than his milquetoast performances. Being willing to play when you aren’t 100 percent is a big part of NBA life, the executive reasoned. Another scout added that simply playing in the games will be important for a general manager in convincing an owner to take a player that they’ve likely tanked their season to draft. “Obviously the medical records will be key, but the fact that he simply showed he can play, and it’s unlikely that he has a debilitating back injury is very important,” the scout said.
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LeBron James, Lakers' front office split on next coach?

And the Rivers rumors? Seems the players, and perhaps general manager Rob Pelinka, too, would rather see an experienced, win-now coach on the sidelines. “If LeBron could pick,” the executive said, “it’s pretty certain he’d pick Doc.” The exec was quick to point out that the Lakers had hoed to be united on the coaching front, considering their last foray into a coaching hire, in 2019, was bungled. The team pursued Ty Lue then but would not meet his contract request, and lost out on Monty Williams to Phoenix almost at the same time. Recently fired coach Frank Vogel was the Lakers’ third choice.
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Most of the front office, it seems, has zeroed in on Darvin Ham, with former head coaches Terry Stotts (Portland) and Kenny Atkinson (Brooklyn) also in the mix. Ham was briefly an assistant with the Lakers, and according to league sources, he is the favorite of the Phil Jackson-Kurt Rambis layer of Lakers decision-makers. “I think those guys want a young coach they can mold a little bit,” one Western Conference executive told Heavy.com. “I do not think Darvin is a pushover by any means. I just think that they want a guy they can point in the direction they want to go, more traditional basketball, using Russell Westbrook a certain way.”
“A lot of teams would rather have that Detroit pick than the Dallas pick, you have more flexibility with second-rounders and they won’t be that far apart,” one GM told Heavy.com. “If they can make a pick swap only, and it costs them the Dallas pick next year and the Detroit second-rounder, it is a lot to give up, but that could land them in the Top 4. It is a significant move for them.”